Saturday marked the 11th meeting between the Akron Zips and Ohio State Buckeyes. Akron received the ball first and marched down to the field in large part to their quarterback D.J. Irons, who completed 5/7 passes for 49 yards. The drive concluded with Irons making a good play as he had to scramble to his left due to a high snap and found his wide receiver Konata Mumpfield who somersaulted into the end zone.
Due to the efficiency of the Zips offense early on, it seemed that the Ohio State defense was going to relieve their poor performance from a week ago. Ohio State ignited their offense as a touch pass play from quarterback Kyle McCord to Jaxson Smith -Njigba for a big gain. Ohio State knotted the score up at 7-7 on a five-yard touch pass to wide receiver Chris Olave, who could have walked his way into the end zone as no defender was in sight. Running back TreVeyon Henderson, picked up where he left off last week, as he bulldozed his way through the Zips defense and across the goal line. At the end of the quarter, the score was 14-7 Buckeyes.
Around the ten-minute mark, McCord’s confidence grew, as he zipped a ball into tight coverage to Smith-Njigba who made a nice grab and tumbled into the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown pass. The Ohio State defense continued to be a thorn in Akron’s side, as linebacker Cody Simon picked off D.J. Irons. Shortly after, Henderson scored on a toss play to his right which opened the floodgates. On Akron’s next possession, Irons rolled out to his left, tossed the ball to an open receiver who bobbled the ball and was intercepted by Ronnie Hickman who returned it to the house for a touchdown. Prior to halftime, Kyle McCord threw a bomb down the field to receiver Garett Wilson which set them up for a 32-yard field goal by Ohio State kicker Noah Ruggles, which pushed the lead to and made it a 31-point deficit for the Zips.
Running back Master Teague added his name to the stat sheet, as he ran his way into the end zone and later on had another rushing touchdown, which looked like the Zips had more holes in their defense than swiss cheese. Another running back Evan Pryor, had a rushing touchdown as it was a field day for Ohio State tailbacks. The Buckeyes defense concluded their evening, with a team total of eight sacks, and allowing 229 total yards.
Ohio State had a whopping 622 total yards, led by Kyle McCord who turned in his first collegiate start by completing 13 out of 18 pass attempts, 319 passing yards and tossing two touchdowns while throwing one interception. He was just recently named Big Ten Freshman of the Week.
Another major contribution was made by TreVeyon Henderson who had two touchdowns on eight carries for 93 yards. Garett Wilson had a monster day with four receptions for 124 yards. This is a game that although was expected to turn out this way, also helps alleviates some pressure from the team as they look forward to their first Big Ten matchup of the year in Piscataway as they will take on Rutgers. Starting quarterback C.J. Stroud has made progress with his injured shoulder and is hopeful to return to the gridiron this weekend, if not, Kyle McCord should take his place.